You heard us, but you didn’t listen

Jake Hopkins, Opinion Editor

On Wednesday, December 12, I witnessed the Issaquah School District Board of Directors pass a motion approving Superintendent Ron Thiele’s proposal for schedule changes throughout the district with a 4-1 vote. With the passing of this motion comes a death sentence for Liberty’s beloved eight-period schedule. The proposal states that Liberty will move to adopt the new seven-period hybrid block schedule by no later than 2022 while Issaquah and Skyline will adopt it beginning next year.
However, this is not all that I saw last Wednesday night. More importantly, I witnessed more than 20 speakers stand up and speak during the public input session. Every person that spoke (with the exception of an Issaquah Education Association representative) was in favor of Liberty’s schedule.
I watched as parents and students stood up to defend our schedule. I saw parents from Skyline and Issaquah plead with the board to allow their kids to transition to the eight-period schedule.
Then the board transitioned to their own discussion and it became abundantly clear that although they had heard us, they were not listening.
With the exception of Director Marnie Maraldo, all the members of the board, as well as Superintendent Ron Thiele spoke against 8 periods and seemed to disregard the overwhelming support displayed by Liberty throughout the entire process.
Lisa Callan, Harlan Gallinger, Suzanne Weaver, and Anne Moore. Those are the names of the board members who failed Liberty High School. They heard, but did not listen to the requests from the Liberty community.
Now I understand the school board has good intentions; they did what they thought was best. I also concede that allowing Liberty to remain on the eight-period schedule for up to three more years is considerate as it allows all of Liberty’s current students to finish out their high school years as they had planned from the start.
But despite the board’s intentions to do what they think is best, they also have an obligation to represent us, not just make decisions for us. Forcing Liberty to give up a schedule that 90 percent of its surveyed population is in support of is not right. They repeatedly ignored the Liberty community.
So I ask you to take action. Liberty’s schedule has been placed on death row and we have three years to overturn the ruling. Now is the time to be active. Now is the time to fight this decision and win back the schedule we all hold so dear.